Diversity Dictionary

The dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion is broad and growing daily. This introduces the need for a common vocabulary to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Because of differences in lived experience, words often hold different meanings for different people. This glossary is not meant to be exhaustive, since language is continuously evolving. The main goal is to provide a basic framework and promote dialogue.

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There are currently 14 Terms in this directory beginning with the letter C.

a term for people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior aligns with those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth.

​a hierarchical system that provides or denies resources, agency, and dignity based on one’s, or one’s perceived, socioeconomic class (poor/working class, middle/upper class, upper class, etc.).

Closed Mindset
the use of conscious bias to narrow or limit choices and the opportunities to make different or more optimal decisions.

Code Switching/Covering
a practice that inhibits the true authentic person from showing up and performing at their best; a form of assimilation or trying to fit in.

Color Blind
the belief that everyone should be treated “equally” without respect to societal, economic, historical, racial, or other differences.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
a way businesses regulate themselves with the goal of being socially responsible.

Critical Race Theory
a collection of activists and scholars interested in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power. The movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies discourses take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, context, group- and self-interest, and even feelings and the unconscious.

Cultural Appropriation
originally coined to describe the effects of colonialism, cultural appropriation generally entails adopting aspects of a minority culture by someone outside the culture, without sufficient understanding of its context or respect for the meaning and value of the original. Cultural appropriation done in a way that promotes disrespectful cultural or racial stereotypes is considered particularly harmful.

Cultural Competency
having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities. Culture refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups.

Cultural Humility
a lifelong process of self-reflection, self-critique, and continuous learning, whereby the individual not only learns about another’s culture, but one starts with examination of her/his own beliefs and cultural identities. This critical consciousness is more than just self-awareness but requires one to step back to understand one’s own assumptions, biases, and values.

Cultural Intelligence / Cultural Quotient
the capability to relate and work effectively across cultures to come up with better solutions.

Culturally Appropriate Care
a healthcare approach that understands the influence of cultural values and beliefs (for the patient and provider) in health care delivery and provides care to address cultural needs.

Culturally Competent Care
the ability of providers and organizations to understand and integrate factors such as race, ethnicity, language, gender, socioeconomic status, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, and occupation into the delivery and structure of the health care system.

a social system of meaning and custom that is developed by a group of people to assure its adaptation and survival. These groups are distinguished by a set of unspoken rules that shape values, beliefs, habits, patterns of thinking, behaviors, and styles of communication.